D22 Battery Light

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Horatius

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Well, just had an unusual problem with the old "battery light on start up" foible, familiar to many zd30 owners. Always assumed it was just a foible rather than a problem. Where the induced voltage/current was insufficient to overcome all those diode junctions and get the regulator switching until you give it a quick rev, then it works fine. Only speculation though as I haven't ever needed to look into it further. Every D22 with zd30 I have seen is the same (though I haven't seen all of 'em for sure).

At any rate the usual mechanic is closed at the moment so I booked it into one of those tyre and auto places for a rego check. I then got a call saying they couldn't take it for a brake test, as the car had a faulty alternator (only putting out 12.5V) and they couldn't take the risk of it breaking down. They could however replace the alternator for $640 and then they would be able to do it lol.

I thought it strange, alternators usually give some warning before they go (not always I suppose) but I wanted to have a look myself first before parting with the dough. They had already told me they refuse to install customer parts if I found a cheaper alternator (which is fair enough) but it's a simple enough job and I figured if it was clagged I would have to change it to get it home anyway (I have a spare).

Before I started I just asked he mechanic out of curiosity if he tried giving it a quick rev to see if the light went out. Unfortunately this met with a rather animated response about it being "bullshit" and I basically had no idea what I was talking about. Then got a lecture on the workings of alternators (which I fully appreciated, as you might imagine).

So I went out, started the car, gave it a quick rev and asked him if he'd like to put the meter across it now, explaining that it will continually give around 14.6V until you turn it off. Got no real interest in that suggestion though, unfortunately. He seemed intent on not taking it for a brake test unless it got a new alternator. lol.

So after about 13 years and hundreds of thousands of kms of driving this thing through some of the remotest places in Australia (and obviously 12 other rego checks where it wasn't a problem), I had a mechanic who couldn't give it a rego check because he wasn't game enough to take it around the block. lol and lol again.

I managed to convince him that I would take full responsibility if the car konked out during brake test and got it passed, it meant going back and leaving it there another day though.

Strangely I asked for a wheel alignment also, explaining the tyres were wearing badly on the inside so thought the camber might need adjusting. To be told it's "physically impossible" for a tyre to wear on the inside due to camber, it'll be toe out of alignment. Unfortunately they couldn't do the alignment either as the components were that old and corroded they couldn't get them undone. This seemed strange also, as I changed them all myself a couple of years ago (the whole lot is brand new) and the last fella to align it had no problem at all.

So I did the alignment myself with the stringline and level method (which can give surprisingly good results if you're willing to frig around for half a day). Found the toe was spot on, camber out quite a lot. On one side though I had to pop the ball joints and and put it in a vice to undo the nuts on the tie rod. It seems they might have had trouble getting them off because they were going the wrong way and tightening them. lol again.

They have the right idea in Qld where you don't have to bother going through this bullshit, you just pay the extortion fee "rego and greenslip" and it's all done.
 
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Horatius

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ps. The last advice I had was that the alternator really should be changed, as a common problem with them is that the little "charging solenoid" packs it in. At this stage I wondered about my attire, thinking I might have put my clown suit on by accident that day, but no...

I guess if you only do quick services on near new vehicles that don't have such foibles, the advice might be fair enough. Thought I did well to remain composed and seemed a likeable enough fella apart from some unusual diagnostics and advice. Not sure about the experience level though, but anyway it's all good.
 

tweak'e

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find a new mechanic.

we have safety inspection here, if the mechanic is being a nob you go down the road to the next one

one of the d22's has that alternator light issue and my mem i think we swapped the alternator and it made no difference.
i suspect its actually an issue with the dash, possible the led light.

i would have to check the circuits but typically what controls the alternator voltage is the current drawn through warning light. with older cars if you change the old bulbs to led the alternator won't work.
 

Horatius

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find a new mechanic.

we have safety inspection here, if the mechanic is being a nob you go down the road to the next one

one of the d22's has that alternator light issue and my mem i think we swapped the alternator and it made no difference.
i suspect its actually an issue with the dash, possible the led light.

i would have to check the circuits but typically what controls the alternator voltage is the current drawn through warning light. with older cars if you change the old bulbs to led the alternator won't work.
Oh, I tried. All booked out and I didn't have time to wait as it would have run out of rego (big fines here if you drive them like that).

Have heard people say it's a high resistance in the dash itself, as the circuit goes to -ve via the alternator, it requires a rev for the alternator to overcome and equalize the voltage, and hence for the light to go out (get 0V across it). This could well be right, I certainly haven't looked into it. Have never had a need to.

No big problem, unfortunately for people who aren't mechanically inclined they would probably have parted with the dough unnecessarily. Wonder how many people just pay up with things like this and trust what they're being told is right?
 
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tweak'e

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................

No big problem, unfortunately for people who aren't mechanically inclined they would probably have parted with the dough unnecessarily. Wonder how many people just pay up with things like this and trust what they're being told is right?
tons, thats why those crowds are still in business. well until word gets around and everyone starts avoiding them.

it could simply be a connection problem, or the other diode or resistor has failed.
 

MANNING

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Unfortunately for people who aren't mechanically inclined they would probably have parted with the dough unnecessarily. Wonder how many people just pay up with things like this and trust what they're being told is right?

Two stories instantly come to mind when hearing this, both in fairly recent times.
A mate was having battery charging problems so stopped at an auto sparky on the way home.. Was told the alternator was the suspect and that it would be say $500 ( wasnt my quote so price is just an example). Being semi tool savy he asked if he removed it himself and brought it back for i.d and replacement, would he save any money..? New price then became $400 - stoked with his potential saving, raced home to remove and found some dirty and not so great wiring connections.. After a clean up and retighten there wasnt an issue again..

Also, just before xmas, i managed to break the abs/speed sensor wiring on my front wheel.. only one wire but very fine wiring and straight before the silly plastic plugs - made rejoining the plug and wire aloy harder than i wanted..
i looked online but delivery dates were weeks away so i had a ring around, finally arriving at a niissanparts:cautious:
guy i spoke to told me the replacement was going to be well over $650 for one side and that i should consider swapping out both sides together because if one broke, the others on its way out.. Did i have a laugh!
Very quickly cut the plug and peiced in a small section of suited wire..
 

Erick

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Wonder what would have happened if u weren’t a bit savvy when they robbed u for $640 and the new alternator needed a rev for the indicator light to go out. Court case and fine/ deregistration of the workshop? In our dreams and if u have the time and money to make the world perfect, lol.
My 2095 d22 3.0 l does same. And u are quite correct about being a bit of resistance in dash or elsewhere. 1500rpm and all is well.
Did u raise or lower u front suspension. Camber will go out then. And wrong camber is the only thing to wear tyres on one side.toe in scrubs the entire tyre, castor makes the tread pattern wear strangely, depending on tread pattern.
What’s the legal position on naming and shaming on here?
 

Old.Tony

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What’s the legal position on naming and shaming on here?

As a forum available to the public and with answers searchable by Google/Ecosia/Bing/Duckduckgo etc, we do have to be careful because posts are considered to be "published". It's up to the owners - who appoint moderators to fulfill the task - to ensure that posts either comply with the law, or are removed. We do have the power to edit a post, which I have occasionally done to change a title so it's spelled correctly to aid in searching, but we can also edit the content of a post if the majority of it is valuable, on-topic and not contrary to our rules.

Which, I should add, starts with "family friendly" - the main goal of this forum is to provide help for people with Nissan Navaras, but we don't mind if Pathfinder owners jump in now and again since they're mechanically so similar and suffer the same problems (except that rear coil suspension, now I'm going to have to get upset over that). We don't think there's a lot of ground gained if posts are adversarial/antagonistic towards other members, but you can understand taking a swipe at a poor experience with a supplier or service provider, as long as it's "reasonable".

To that end, I could completely understand if someone posted "Bill from GoneSoft Tyres reckoned he couldn't touch my wheel alignment because my air filter was dirty" - it's reasonable, because while it names the business, it doesn't do it in a derogatory way and states what we can assume is facts. If it said "That dirty slimebag Pete from Zapper's Auto Electrics changed my indicator bulb and tried to charge me $1700" then it's more of an attack - even though it may be factual, the adjectives are uncalled for. We have the opportunity to "clean" the post - removing the offending words - or delete it as an uncalled for rant. It does depend on the remainder of the post.
 

Horatius

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My 2095 d22 3.0 l does same. And u are quite correct about being a bit of resistance in dash or elsewhere. 1500rpm and all is well.
Did u raise or lower u front suspension. Camber will go out then. And wrong camber is the only thing to wear tyres on one side.toe in scrubs the entire tyre, castor makes the tread pattern wear strangely, depending on tread pattern.
Yeah, have raised it somewhat but I got new tyres and a wheel alignment straight afterwards. It steers much better now after doing it myself. Though it's only going to be as accurate as the floor is flat and level.

Not sure it's a good idea to defame any particular place on a forum for various reasons. Humans, including the best of us, can get irrational in certain situations. So only hearing one side of the story has at least the potential to be biased and unfair. The way to do it fairly would be to give them a right of reply if you do that.

Or make no mention of that part and just have a general sook without being specific, and then get over it lol. It's not as though every mech/customer experience is a good one.

There's a lot to be said for finding a mechanic you trust and sticking with them. Which is what usually happens, but with bushfires floods/storms and extended and strict lockdowns from the virus not everyone has got through the last couple of years unscathed, unfortunately.
 
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Erick

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My comment on naming and shaming was a bit tongue in cheek, but thanks Old Tony for ur valuable reply. And Horatius I agree. Just seems to me that a half decent mechanic/shop is getting harder and harder to find these days.
 

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